Turmeric: Benefits and Use | Ayurveda


Turmeric (Curcuma longa). It's a quintessential spice in curry, a relative of ginger and the healthiest way to add flavor — and color! — to a home-cooked meal. And evidence is accumulating that this brightly colored relative of ginger is a promising disease-preventive agent as well, probably due largely to its anti-inflammatory action. 

Turmeric has long been used to relieve everything from liver problems to depression to ringworm in ancient medicine, but, like many alternative therapies, there's not always much research to back up the ancient wisdom.

That doesn't mean turmeric's powers are to be discredited altogether. Here, a look at what we do know about this powerful seasoning...

Researched health benefits of turmeric:

  • It is a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent, useful in disinfecting cuts and burns.
  • Is a natural liver detoxifier.
  • It is a potent natural anti-inflammatory that works as well as many anti-inflammatory drugs but without the side effects.
  • Is a natural painkiller and cox-2 inhibitor.
  • Speeds up wound healing and assists in remodeling of damaged skin.
  • Helps in the treatment of psoriasis and other inflammatory skin conditions.

So how do you use this miracle spice? 

Four easy ways...

1. Spice up your food. 

Add this spice to anything (besides sweets) for a new flavor and a ton of benefits! You can use turmeric to add some zest to cooked vegetables, eggs, and meat dishes. You can also add it to boiling water you're using to make pasta, rice, soups, and more. 

2. Drink it as a tea. 

Bring four cups of water to a boil. Add one teaspoon of ground turmeric and reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes. Strain the tea through a fine sieve into a cup, add honey and/or lemon to taste.

3. Use a turmeric supplement. 

I like to take a turmeric supplements a day in case I am on-the-go and am unable to cook with it. Look for supercritical extracts in dosages of 400 to 600 mg.

4. Mix it with castor oil for a skin detox. 

Castor oil with turmeric powder is a powerful toxin releaser for your skin. Mix, gently heat, and then massage onto your skin before bathing. (*Turmeric may stain your clothes so be careful and rinse thoroughly).


Sachi Doctor

Elemental Alchemy, 90 Rio Vista Avenue, Oakland, CA, 94611

Sachi Doctor is an Ayurvedic practitioner and holistic health coach who founded Elemental Alchemy with the mission to provide a resource for those navigating their way towards optimal mind-body health.

Diagnosed with an autoimmune disease at a young age, Sachi has spent over twenty years exploring different health modalities, treatment plans, diets and mindfulness practices to help alleviate chronic pain and restore balance.

After years of looking to others for a model of health with no relief, Sachi realized that the answers she sought were not hidden in someone else’s prescription for wellness but unique to her, and that the first step towards discovery was actually tuning out what was right for others and tuning into herself.

As she tapped into the wisdom of her own body, she discovered that the elements foundational for health  — the blueprint she so fervently sought — was within her, within each of us. Since then Sachi has been passionate about helping others also cultivate clarity and inner wisdom for vibrant health.

In addition to her Ayurvedic and nutrition education, Sachi has completed over 800 hours of yoga teacher training and continues to study with her mother, her first yoga teacher, for whom these practices are a way of life.

Sachi is a board member of the Prison Yoga Project at San Quentin State Prison and serves as an ambassador for Yoga Gives Back, a non-profit that raises funds within the US yoga community to support microcredit programs for women in India. She holds a Msc in Development from the London School of Economics.